Medicine Wheel Initiation
An Initiation for Men and Women

The Sacred Seven Prayers


O Great Spirit, who art before all else and who dwells in every object, in every person and in every place, we cry unto Thee. We summon Thee from the far places into our present awareness.

Seven Prayers

O Great Spirit of the North, who gives wings to the waters of the air and rolls the thick snowstorm before Thee, Who covers the Earth with a sparkling crystal carpet above whose deep tranquillity every sound is beautiful. Temper us with strength to withstand the biting blizzards, yet make us thankful for the beauty which follows and lies deep over the warm Earth in its wake.

O Great Spirit of the East, the land of the rising Sun, Who holds in Your right hand the years of our lives and in Your left the opportunities of each day. Brace us that we may not neglect our gifts nor lose in laziness the hopes of each day and the hopes of each year.

O Great Spirit of the South, whose warm breath of compassion melts the ice that gathers round our hearts, whose fragrance speaks of distant springs and summer days, dissolve our fears, melt our hatreds, kindle our love into flames of true and living realities. Teach us that he who is truly strong is also kind, he who is wise tempers justice with mercy, he who is truly brave matches courage with compassion.

O Great Spirit of the West, the land of the setting Sun, with Your soaring mountains and free, wide rolling prairies, bless us with knowledge of the peace which follows purity of striving and the freedom which follows like a flowing robe in the winds of a well-disciplined life. Teach us that the end is better than the beginning and that the setting sun glorifies not in vain.

O Great Spirit of the heavens, in the day's infinite blue and amid the countless stars of the night season, remind us that you are vast, that you are beautiful and majestic beyond all of our knowing or telling, but also that you are no further from us than the tilting upwards of our heads and the raising of our eyes.

O Great Spirit of Mother Earth beneath our feet, Master of metals, Germinator of seeds and the Storer of the Earth's unreckoned resources, help us to give thanks unceasingly for Your present bounty.

O Great Spirit of our souls, burning in our heart's yearning and in our innermost aspirations, speak to us now and always so that we may be aware of the greatness and goodness of Your gift of life and be worthy of this priceless privilege of living.
©1996 Noel Knockwood, B.A.

from Earth Prayers for The Great Spirit by French Indian


Native Americans refer to medicine as the essence of the person, place or thing. In our terms it is the essence of being a spiritual, physical, mental and emotional being. The Medicine Wheel has been used for thousands of years to provide insight into the human condition. It has been used in one form or another in nearly all original tribes from native American Indians to many African tribes to Tibetan Bon Po to Australian Aborigines.

The Medicine Wheel program is a one-year initiation—a birthing process to more fully be who you are. We will explore the cycles of life and the stages of change. The focus is to discover the innate aspects of yourself that have not been allowed to be seen or heard. We will nurture those parts so as to begin to create a more centered and balanced life.

The Journey

In prior times, the creation and development of medicine were done through various forms of initiations, now more commonly called Odysseys and Journeys. These journeys were structured rituals and ceremonies that brought the girl/woman or boy/man face-to–face with the childish attitudes and beliefs that no longer served the evolving adult.

These rituals and ceremonies were designed to ignite the deep feminine and masculine energies that would enable the initiate to let go of the childish ways that tended toward self–centeredness and move toward family and community responsibilities. These rituals and ceremonies often involved facing the deepest personal fears of childhood. These processes would enable the man or woman to evolve from the ashes of the boy or girl.

Secrets of Being

The journeys were catalysts to burn away the psychology of being a child so that new paradigms or world views could evolve. For the initiation to be successful, the initiatory process required that sacred space be created and held by others. In this sacred space, the initiates would be able to release the habits and patterns of the past to create a new way of being. New paradigms were taught to the evolving men and women so that they would understand the energies within themselves that could be birthed and developed into skills and ways of being complete within the world. These paradigms or world views were considered the secrets of adulthood—man and woman.

The Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel is a one year initiation program. It is designed to awaken, develop, and nurture the essence and fullness of being a man or woman in today’s world. Our focus is developmental. We seek to invoke the unfoldment of mature energies. Our goal is specific. We seek to assist each man or woman to find his or her place in the world. Our hope is honorable. We seek to fill the void of mature men and women that can stay within the center of whom they are regardless of circumstances. Our dream is selfish. In helping others to find their place in the world, we envision your helping others to do the same. Therein, we can build community and make a difference in the world.

We Will Experience

Medicine Wheel will build a community amongst nature. We will experience the healing of reconnecting to the earth by living in harmony with nature. We will experience a purification sweat lodge to enable each man or woman to shed old skins of being in the world. We will experience being fully present with ourselves and with others so that we can make meaningful contact instead of talk at each other. We will experience talking circles to explore what it means to be a mature adult. We will experience the formation of a community and what it means to be a member of one. We will explore what it means to become a member of a community. We will explore what it means to be a man and a woman.

We Will Meet

The One-year Initiation Program will meet four times over the course of the year. It includes four in-depth experiences of cycles of life and the stages of change. Each weekend will explore one of four archetypal energies.

See the calendar page for current schedule.

Who Should Come

This is an advanced workshop designed for those people looking for the next step in their personal and shamanic development. The workshop is designed for people with extensive shamanic journey work through workshops or drum circles.

Some Thoughts to Guide Our Way

Walk firmly in your own shoes, it is who you are.

Fate is not what happens to us; it’s who we are----if we are true to ourselves.

To keep the world from closing in on you, do one thing every day that scares you.

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star”----Nietzsche

We will explore

Male Initiates: Beginning in the Spring, male initiates will explore the deep masculine energies of the Warrior/ worker/samurai, including how we can become sidetracked into being a perpetual hero or an unconscious victim.

In the Summer, we will explore, the energies of the Sage, including how we can be consumed by the energies of the trickster and/or fool.

In the Autumn, we will explore the deep feminine energies of the Peacemaker/Lover/Healer, where we come into our own sense of compassion and receptivity or become consumed by addictions or desensitization.

Finally, we finish in the Winter in the world of the Sovereign/Ancestors, where we claim our internal power or become tyrants or wimps.

Female Initiates: Female initiates will explore the deep feminine energies of the Peacemaker/ Lover/Healer where we come into our own sense of compassion and receptivity or become consumed by addictions or desensitization.

Some items you will need

For Personal Care: We will be living amongst nature. Hence, you will need to bring a sleeping bag, ground cloth, and a ground pad or cot. You will need to bring rain gear as we will meet rain or shine or snow or sleet. You will need to bring clothing appropriate to being outside. Insulated boots would be appropriate for the winter. Flash lights, a knife with a three-inch or larger blade, washable eating utensils, including plate/bowl, cup, knife, fork and spoon. You will need to bring soap and shaving gear as desired. Be mindful that the walking path to camp is rough terrain.

For Sustenance:
Each person needs to bring 3 to 5 gallons of water for each week-end. Also, we will provide some food, however each person needs to bring non-perishable food for snacks that can be eaten without cooking, such as dried fruits, nuts, protein or granola bars, etc. This food will be commingled into a community pantry.

For Comfort:
Please bring any rocks or crystals that want to come along. A journal notebook is encouraged as well as any comforts for sitting on the floor, such as floor chairs, back supports, blankets, pillows, etc.

For the Altar:
For the medicine wheel, appropriate to the respective weekends’ teaching, please bring photographs of yourself or your family that reflect infancy, childhood, adulthood, and elders. In addition to (or instead of the prior photographs) bring photos, images and/or symbols that represent the energies of the Kinq, Queen, and/or Sovereign; the Lover, Healer, and/or Feminine; the Magician, Sage, and/or Shaman; and the Warrior, Soldier, Samurai, and/or masculine

See the calendar page for current schedule.

For more information, email One White Horse Standing at .


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